Personal Musings category archive
It is often said that some girls are attracted to bad boys.
If that is the case, it’s not just some girls. It’s also film and television folks.
Nothing else accounts for the tongue-dragging slavering over Professor Moriarity.
Frankly, they should get over Moriarity already.
He was a minor character invented for only one purpose: to facilitate A. Conan Doyle’s plan to assassinate Sherlock Holmes. He was not a criminal genius; he was a tool and hit man.
The story is a sordid one.
Doyle had decided that Sherlock Holmes was overshadowing his more “serious” fiction (anyone who has read his more “serious” fiction realizes overshadowing it was not difficult) and must be done away with.
Doyle spun the tale of a mysterious shadowy criminal mastermind so he–Doyle–could pitch Holmes over the cliff at Reichenbach Falls. Moriarity never actually appears in the story, being merely an invisible red herring to distract the reader from the true assassin, Doyle himself.
Moriarity appears, again only by name and never in person, in only two of the other 59 tales of the Canon: The Adventure of the Empty House, in which Holmes, defying the malevolence of his creator, reappears, rounds up the last of Moriarity’s (that is, Doyle’s) henchmen, and resumes his career at 221B Baker Street, and The Valley of Fear, again as a mention in what is quite possibly the worst of the Canon–it’s the only one of the original Sherlock Holmes stories I have not been able to re-read, though I’ve read the rest of the Canon five? six? seven? I forget how many times.
Yet movie makers and television broadcasters keep returning to Moriarity.
I am so glad that I am no longer a “road warrior,” getting on an airplane twice a month to go to some wonderful place like Bismarck, North Dakota, or Monroe, Louisiana, to spend a week in a classroom.
The people were always nice, wherever I went, but getting there by air was miserable.
But not this miserable.
It wasn’t so bad when I worked for the railroad.
Train travel, unlike air travel, is fun; a business pass meant a sleeper; and I spent many weeks in Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, and New York.
Two of them are among my favorite cities, along with Philadelphia, the city with the biggest inferiority complex in the world. The third one is on the Hudson. The fourth one is no city at all, but a formless, shapeless, centerless sprawl, the Blob in urban guise.
Whenever I ride my bicycle, I remember this story. But it does not apply just to bicyclists.
When I was in high school, one of my fellow high-schoolers was in a collision.
He had a Honda 350 motorcycle back when Honda 350s were the cat’s meow and the bee’s knees.
He was driving up the highway, a wide open country highway, when a lady pulled out in front of him from a stop sign.
He collided with her and sprawled across the hood of her car. (Fortunately, he lived.)
The lady told the cops, “I looked both ways and I did not see a car.”
If you aren’t willing to see it, it doesn’t exist until it hits you full force.
And that is true not just on the highways.
Farewell to Maj. Sidney Freedman of M*A*S*H,
Whenever he appeared in an episode, it was always a good episode.
I hope that my mind and heart are never so old and shriveled that I want to live in a “55 and up” community.
The haters are going to hate, and that’s no speculation.
Cowering in the bottom of a trailer boat in someone’s backyard was likely not an expectation.
When Ronald Reagan was shot, I was working in Washington, D. C., actually not too far, as distances are measured in cities, from the site.
My first reaction on learning the identity of his shooter was, “Thank God he wasn’t black.”
I had seen that racial prejudice was central to the Reagan appeal and knew that, if the suspect were black, a backlash of hatred and bigotry would ensue. (Stuff like this.)
Haters always look for an excuse to unleash their hate.
I had the same reaction today when I saw the FBI’s pictures of possible Boston bombing suspects on the inner webs.
From the How about a Little Good News Dept.
In St. Pete, Margaret Austin is teaching cribbage to kids at the Northside Boys and Girls Club. She needs cribbage boards.
My father loved cribbage–in fact, he loved card games of all types, except for the ones that required betting to be fun (try playing poker without betting something–can’t do it). I remember playing cribbage with him, but it was so long ago that I’d have to read up on the rules before I could play again.
A cornerstone of the self-image of many white Southerners is refusing to accept that their ancestors, those who wore the grey (as mine did), wanted to perpetuate a way of life based on holding a people in captivity and stealing their labor.
Those Southerners and their wannabe fellow-travelers, dupes, and symps will jump through all kinds of crazy, stupid hoops to avoid that truth.
The big fuss in the wire stories today seems to be “Zero TV Homes.” The story seems to be leading all over the landscape.
None of the reports take note of the correlation between “zero TV homes” and the reality (shows) of “zero TV TV.”
Leonard Pitts, Jr., calls tech support.
The surest way for a company to change my polite inquiry into incoherent rage is to force me to use a voice-activated menu, usually read by a woman who has overdosed on uppers and become lost in some delusional Bali Hai.
It occurs to me that one of the principle drivers of economic inequality over the past 40 years has been the shift to financing education with student loans, which harness students to a life of debt and debt to finance debt, sucking their earnings into the coffers of the masters of the universe for most of the rest of their economic lives.